Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wordless Wednesday Bunny Palace in Progress

My husband, putting together the new bunny palace.

The bunny palace partially built. We put a coat of whitewash on it to protect the wood from the elements also.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers Review


My family had the privilege of trying SmartKidz Media SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

SmartKidz Media SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers is a subscription based online streaming digital media learning library that hosts family-friendly educational programs for your family to watch, listen to and interact with. This is perfectly made for homeschoolers as the name suggests and since it is family-friendly it is all safe and appropriate content that you can let your child watch without having to worry. The site covers a broad spectrum of different subjects with an emphasis on the animal kingdom, history, science, social studies, world cultures, the fine arts, sports, and health. SmartKidz Media can be used on any device: TV, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Tablet, mobile phone, and Roku. It has cloud storage so SmartKidz Media can be streamed any where, at any time. The library is ever growing and expanding. They have over 1000 educational videos, flash animated eBooks, fine arts music, interactive study guides, etc. They will be adding even more titles over the summer.


Menu bar tabs are across the top for easy navigation. Some have a pull down menu as well.

Navigation through the site is easy and straightforward. After you log in you will be brought to the main landing page. The main landing page looks like a bunch of images of media titles in a horizontal line that you can scroll through with the arrows on either side. If you mouse over any one of these images it will give you a synopsis of the video and how long it is, with an option to click it and "Watch Now". On the main landing page you can see different menu bar tabs across the top of the page under two sections: Family Media and Reading & Learning Center. If you mouse over a tab under the Family Media section it will bring up a pull down menu with links to all the different titles within that specific group.

Synopsis of programs are revealed when they are moused over.

There are two groups of menu tabs under Family Media: World of Discovery, and Music & Fine Arts. You can go to these individually or just stay on the main landing page to have access to all of them all on the same page. In the World of Discovery groups we have subjects in: Animals & Wildlife, Action Sports (coming soon), Documentaries & Culture, Health & Fitness, History, Lifestyles & Cuisine, Science, Travel & Adventure. In the Music & Fine Arts groups we have subjects in: Fine Arts, Classical Music, Cultural Music, Jazz & Blues Classics, and Relaxation Music.

Besides the Family Media section there are tabs at the top of the main landing page to go to the Reading and Learning Center section. This section has videos, flash-animated eBooks, interactive study guides, music, games & activities, and printable media. The tabs in the menu bar under this section are: Mighty E-Book Collection (flash animated eBooks that your child can read along to), Baby Signs Program (baby sign language videos and songs to help teach the pre-verbal to communicate), My Animal Family (video storybooks about animals that teaches values and respect), Quick Find Study Guides (clickable study guides for learning definitions, rules, and examples in language arts, math, science, social studies, accounting, and foreign language), Learning Special Needs (teaches personal, social, and coping skills to special needs in "Hear the Book" & "Interactive" media and printable supplementary teaching materials in PDF format), Living Skills Program (coming soon: teaches children how to live responsibly), Ready Set Sing (Karaoke and sing-along songs for kids), and Fun Zone (educational games and activities).

Part of the Quick Find Study Guides.

How We Are Using SmartKidz Media:

I received a full year subscription to SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers. In exploring the site we found all sorts of neat things to watch, listen to, play, and read about. We used this subscription as a supplement with our homeschool curriculum. We don't normally homeschool in the summer, but we do like to unschool and this is perfect for this too. I have found it invaluable to our learning because of the vastness of it all. There are so many subjects and topics covered that we can pretty much find something to go with what we are studying for the week.

SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers is great for the whole family, but I have found that it has a lot of programs that are typically geared towards ages 2-8 years. My teenage boys (13 and 14) were a bit bored with some of the media offered because they thought that it was juvenile. My younger girls aged 4 and 7 were excited about it all.

We skipped around on the main landing page first. We watched Animal Journeys series and learned about migration of different animals and the Mysteries from Ancient Times series to explore some fascinating archeological mysteries. These videos are roughly 5-30 minutes long. Some of the health and fitness ones are longer than 30 minutes. They have fitness videos that are for adults, pregnant women, mamas with babies, and kids. I want to check out the Pilates videos in the future. We also had fun listening to and dancing to some of their Cultural Music and Relaxation Music selections. I loved the music from India and the Nature Impressions: Celtic Journey the most. The music is great to listen to while I am cooking or doing laundry. Teela and Zari did some puzzles and games in the game section too. There is so much to see and listen to in this library that we couldn't get to it all, but we plan on doing more of it this summer.

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Purchase a $10 a Month (Membership is billed monthly) or pay $99 a year (Best Value! Prepay for the entire year and save $20)! Each membership plan includes a 14 day free trial before billing begins.

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SmartKidz Media Review

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Michael W. Smith Sovereign Album Review and Giveaway

I received this CD free from FlyBy Promotions to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Michael W. Smith is a great Christian artist that I remember from the 80's, singing with Amy Grant. He is a three time Grammy award winner and has thirty-one #1 hit songs, among so many other significant accomplishments. He has also been an actor in two Christian films and published 13 books. He has stayed faithful to his Christian roots and never strayed. I have always been a fan of his ever evolving style. He has done Christian: pop, rock, praise & worship, instrumental, and Christmas music in the past. I especially love the duets he has done with numerous other artists. Smitty is so very talented.

Weeks ago I gave you a exclusive sneak peek of the Music Video of Sky Spills Over, a single on Michael W. Smith's Sovereign. Sovereign is Smitty's first studio worship album and the first album of his released through Capitol Records after leaving his long-time label Reunion Records in 2013. This album like many of Smitty's previous albums is a beautiful compilation of praise and worship songs. The majority of these songs are written or co-written by Michael W. Smith, himself. This album has depth and is filled with imagery. I love that this is the type of music I can listen to when I need uplifting and destressing. This music fills the heart and soul with deep messages of Christ. I love Sky Spills Over for the beautiful lyrics and All Arise for being a perfect praise and worship song. The Same Power is a great Easter song because it is about the Savior's resurrection. I love The One That Really Matters as well because it is a duet with Kari Jobe. She compliments his voice very well. This album is music that speaks to the listener from the heart with its powerful messages. I love the whole album, Sovereign! I could listen to it over and over again. I recommend this for anyone wanting to draw closer to God with music.

Track Listings
  1. You Won't Let Go 
  2. Heaven Come Down 
  3. Miracle 
  4. Sky Spills Over 
  5. All Arise 
  6. You Are The Fire 
  7. Christ Be All Around Me 
  8. Sovereign Over Us 
  9. Hide Myself 
  10. The Same Power 
  11. I Lay Me Down 
  12. The One That Really Matters [feat. Kari Jobe]

Follow Michael W. Smith
Official Michael W. Smith Website: michaelwsmith.com
Twitter: @michaelwsmith
Facebook: https://facebook.com/michaelwsmithofficial
Instagram: http://instagram.com/mwsmithofficial

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Prize:
Win a copy of the Michael W. Smith Sovereign Album!

Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for Rafflecopter below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER:  (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this blog app and giveaway. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well Cookbook Review

I received this book free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Maria Speck is an expert when it comes to cooking with grains. Her Greek and Germanic background gives her an edge with Mediterranean food that one can only get by actually being immersed in the culture and food. Her two cookbooks focus on Mediterranean flavors and cooking styles while creating delicious meals with whole grains and seeds that cook up like grains. Simply Ancient Grains is her second cookbook.

Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well by Maria Speck is a collection of delicious recipes that use grains. These recipes are arranged in a hardcover book that is 272 pages long. This cookbook shares a lot of tips and tricks to get nutritious whole grains on the table quickly so you can enjoy them without all the time spent and fuss. Simply Ancient Grains also shows you how to make delicious complete meals: breakfasts, lunches, dinners and even desserts with grains. The ingredients Maria uses are chosen in their most natural state to enhance the nutrition and flavor of each recipe. She introduces a two-step method for cooking grains, a simple yet effective approach that helps take the stress out of everyday cooking with grains.

The layout of the book is fairly straightforward. Contents of this book start with the acknowledgements, an introduction, and an ancient grains 101 section which lists grains from A to Z and describes them, tells how to cook and bake with them, what equipment is needed, a grain cooking table, and menu inspirations for the week ahead with "Pick Your Grains". Then the middle of the cookbook has chapters that are filled with the scrumptious recipes.

Here is the chapter layout:
  • CHAPTER 1 breakfast Warming Bowls for Busy Mornings 
  • CHAPTER 2 slow mornings Brunch, Lunch, and Breakfast-for-Dinner 
  • CHAPTER 3 salads and sides For Every Day and for Holidays 
  • CHAPTER 4 soups and stews For Busy Nights and Slow Weekends 
  • CHAPTER 5 pasta From Ancient Grains to Modern Heirlooms 
  • CHAPTER 6 simply mains For Busy Nights and Slow Weekends 
  • CHAPTER 7 simple and sweet Desserts for Every Day and for the Holidays

The recipes are easy to prepare and have ingredients that even the novice cook can cook with. A lot of the recipes have lentils and beans, vegetables and greens, grains and nuts with small portions of meat or fish, if any meat/fish is present at all. The recipe starts with the title at the top of the page with a story as to why the recipe was picked under that. It also states if the recipe is truly gluten free or has an option to be. Then down further on the page is the directions with the ingredients, serving size/amount and how many it serves on the side. Lastly on the page there are "fine points" which are indented and tell you tips, tricks, variations, and substitutions you can try. Sometimes the "fine points" are in the side bar of the page under the serving amounts and they might also have things to do ahead of time to make the recipe even easier, so I recommend reading this section first, even though it is last. There are also pages with text surrounded by a box. This is extra information that you may have not known and is good information to have. I do wish that all of the recipes were accompanied by the photograph of the completed dish, but not all of them are. Some instead have pictures of one ingredient or no pictures at all. I am a visual person so the completed pictures help me know what the end result is supposed to look like. All the photographs in this cookbook look fabulous and mouth watering. My favorite yummy sounding recipes in this book are: Burgundy Bulgur with Blueberries and Orange Blossom Water, Baked Feta Fingers in Saffron Quinoa with Tomatoes, Minted Summer Couscous with Watermelon and Feta, Chicken Stew with Honey-Balsamic Squash and Farro, My Mac and Cheese with Greek Yogurt and Leeks, Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Hazelnut Buckwheat Stuffing, and Light Lemon Custard with Blackberries and Pomegranate Molasses.

At the end of the book is Ingredients and Techniques, Sources, Bibliography, and an Index. The Ingredients and Techniques section gives ingredient descriptions and techniques that a novice cook might not have heard of or tried. The Sources section gives you a list and description of companies and products that you should familiarize yourself with while using this cookbook and cooking with grains in general. The Bibliography gives you other books and sources that you can read to enhance your experiences with grains. The Index is very helpful with helping you find your way around this book. There is also handy Measurement Conversion Charts to help you with volume, temperature, length, and weight.

Even though I am familiar with quinoa, barley, couscous, bulgur, rice, etc. and keep some of these in my kitchen pantry, I find that a lot of people don't know about these yummy ancient grains. Although, they are getting more and more recognized as time passes, especially to the health conscious. I love that there is still even more about grains for me to learn and the Simply Ancient Grains cookbook is definitely a great start for anyone willing. Before this cookbook I had never heard of Freekeh, Teff, or Farro and even though I had heard of Amaranth and Kamut, I have yet to try them. I am excited to try all the nutritious recipes and the new ingredients for myself within Simply Ancient Grains. I am sure they will become staples in my home as I lovingly dogear the pages of this cookbook.

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Blogging For Books for sending me this book for free to review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Joy Williams Venus Album Review #JoyWilliams #O2O

I participated in the Joy Williams Venus album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

You may know Joy Williams as the other half of four-time Grammy-winning folk-rock duo, The Civil Wars. The group had a hiatus in 2012 and eventually broke up in 2014. Williams undoubtedly felt like she was drowning with the band's break up, having a baby, fighting to save her marriage, and her Dad's terminal Cancer diagnosis. Through all her trials Williams reevaluated and reinvented herself and made a new album.


Her new album, Venus, is her first solo album. This album is something totally new and different than The Civil Wars' two albums. I love that this album brings out Williams' vocal range and now her style is becoming all her own. Williams opens her feelings to all of us. This album comes from her heart and what she was/is still going through. By the lyrics in her album I can tell this was an excruciatingly painful time for Williams. Break ups rarely are easy and with everything else going on in her life the making of this album must have been a fantastic release for her. I love that this album is also about reclaiming yourself after hardships, not letting them cage you in, and moving beyond them.

My favorite songs on this album are Before I Sleep, Until the Levee, and Welcome Home. I love the imagery both of these songs create. Before I Sleep has great percussion. This was the first song she created for the album and it fits so well after the breakup. I love the beautiful lyrical symbolism in Until the Levee. Welcome Home is such a great ending to this album. It is such a powerful song.

This whole album is a wonderful emotional ride. The lyrics are very passionate and healing. I have enjoyed listening to the songs over the past few weeks and I believe that it is the perfect addition to my music collection.

Track Listings
  1. Before I Sleep
  2. Sweet Love of Mine
  3. Woman (Oh Mama)
  4. One Day I Will
  5. Not Good Enough
  6. What a Good Woman Does
  7. Until the Levee
  8. You Loved Me
  9. The Dying Kind
  10. Till Forever
  11. Welcome Home

Here is the Woman (Oh Mama) Music Video...



Follow Joy Williams
Official Joy Williams website: www.joywilliams.com 
Twitter - @joywilliams


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DISCLAIMER: Thanks to One2One Network for sending me a free full album download of Venus to listen to and review and the information to share with my readers. My post is also eligible for a gift card via random drawing by One2One Network. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wordless Wednesday One Chicken All Alone

Unfortunately, predators are a fact of life when you live on a farm. We are thankful to God that one of our chickens survived.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon Cookbook Review

I received this book free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

You may know Sara Forte from her popular foodie blog, The Sprouted Kitchen, which focuses on making recipes using whole foods that are also in season. She and her husband have compiled two fabulous cookbooks: the first is called The Sprouted Kitchen after her blog and the most recent one is called Bowl + Spoon. Her recipes are sumptuous, nutritious, and easy to make if you have the ingredients at hand. She doesn't over-complicate anything and uses ingredients that help us get back to eating healthier. Her husband, Hugh Forte, is the talent behind the camera. He photographs all the gorgeous photos on her blog and in her books. They also have a little boy named Curran, who I think has a very adorable name!

When I think of bowl foods I think of; breakfast foods like: hot oatmeal, other hot and cold cereals, and yogurt with fruit and granola; comfort foods like: soups, chili, stews, and chowders; and others like: salads and stir-fries. One of my favorite places to eat out is Chang's Mongolian Grill in Portland, which is a restaurant where you create your own stir-fry in a bowl using a variety of meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, sauces, and spices. I have come up with many a yummy combination with the ingredients they have on hand. Bowls are my favorite vessel to put food into at home because usually my meals are foods that go well mixed together anyway, in my opinion. I love making one pot meals, casseroles, and quiches that lend themselves easily to a bowl as well. My favorite desserts to make tend to be fruit crumbles, crisps, and cobblers which also are great in a bowl dolloped with ice cream.

The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon cookbook is a hardcover book by Sara Forte which focuses food around the use of a bowl. The bowl has become a beautiful vessel for all types of foods not just the popular ones that come to mind. Sara's take on bowl foods is refreshing and enlightening. She creates meals and desserts that are somewhat unique to the regular bowl food repertoire, yet are easy to fix while also being wholesome, nourishing, and delicious.

The layout of the book is fairly straightforward. Contents of this book start with an overview, a list of tools needed in the kitchen, and pantry staples. After these pages it has categories of bowl foods split into: Morning Bowls, Side Bowls, Big Bowls, and Sweet Bowls with recipes throughout. Then it has a section that covers Dressing and Sauces with recipes for those. The end of the cookbook is a lovely epilogue of thankfulness from the author to people that helped her with the making of the book, an "about us" page that tells about the author and photographer, an index to find things easier and some handy measurement conversion charts on the inside of the back cover.

The ingredients in this cookbook are a menagerie of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and/or lean proteins that are nestled against each other to create a distinctive blend of flavor and texture. This is not a strictly vegetarian or vegan cookbook. There is use of dairy, chicken, turkey, eggs, seafood, etc. in this book. Some of the ingredients are not what I usually have at hand in my kitchen pantry, but I am reassured by the author that I can find them all easily at a "farmers' market, heath food store, or wellstocked grocery store". Put together in a bowl these ingredients are very visually appealing, and perfect to serve to: guests when entertaining or your family while sitting on your sofa.

The recipes in this book are easily executed. The instructions are simple to reproduce and the directions are uncomplicated. Some of these recipes do call for more time than most care to invest, but in my opinion they are worth it because they are a lot healthier than the average food faire. I do wish that all of the recipes were accompanied by the photograph of the completed dish, but not all of them are. Instead some have pictures of the author, her family, entertaining, and/or part of the ingredients of the recipe displayed in a pleasing manner. I do love these photographs too, but having photos of each completed recipe would have been more helpful to people like me who are very visual and love to see what the food should end up looking like before making the recipe. Every recipe in The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon cookbook has a title at the top, how many it serves, a story with tips, ingredient list, and directions on how to prepare and make. I love that Sara puts her personal touch in each recipe with a short story that goes along with each. My favorite yummy sounding recipes in this book are: Baby Potato and Asparagus Tangle with Green Harissa and Eggs, Winter Fruit Salad in Ginger Lime Syrup, Mixed Greens with Beet and Walnut Puree, Za'atar Roasted Carrots, Seared Albacore Ni├žoise, Coconut Sorbet with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, & Dark Cherry Hazelnut Salsa. I also love that she adds a Building a Bowl guide to building your own bowl meal from scratch.

All in all I believe this cookbook is a lovely addition to my cookbook shelf. It will be treasured in my kitchen. I am excited to make the recipes inside its pages for my family and friends.

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Blogging For Books for sending me this book for free to review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordless Wednesday This Is How We Mow The Lawn

Roped off part of the lawn outside the field so the horses can munch it down.

Blueberry (Appaloosa gelding) , Skittles (Cremello filly), and Dreamer (Skittles mother, Palomino mare).

Sad Gizmo, the stallion mini Shetland pony, can't join in the fun.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Apologia Educational Ministries Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Apologia Educational Ministries Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal for this review to use in conjunction with my own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. This post contains affiliate links that will benefit the blog.

Field trips are always a welcome get away for my family. I especially love the field trips that are educational, but any field trip whether for eduction or fun or both are great because they get us out of the stuffy house and let us see stuff we would have never been able to see otherwise. I also love to document my experiences by photography, sketching, scrapbooking, journaling, and blogging because they are outlets where I can be creative while writing about my adventures in life. I believe that it is easier to actually learn by doing and seeing. Field trips let us learn in this way.

The Apologia Educational Ministries Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal is a neat spiral bound book with pages to fill out. The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal can be used for one child or the whole family. It lets you record your trips in the journal in a fun way. It has colorful pages that are appealing to children as well as adults. The pages are made from a lightweight card stock so they won't tear easily. The front and back of the cover is shiny so if there was a little bit of moisture that spills on it you can wipe it off easily, but it won't repel a lot so be careful around liquids. The book has 64 pages total and 9 different sections which are listed in the table of contents with their page numbers. This is a scrapbook, a field trip recorder, a 4H event recorder, a nature journal, and a family trip memory book wrapped up into one neat workbook.

Jaedan filling out his experiences at the Sluggerville Museum on the Field Trip Pages.

The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal also has a lot of pages that are fun and get your creative juices flowing. In the front of the book it has a page to fill out the name of the person or family the book belongs to. Then it has the Table of Contents listed to easily find the pages you are looking for in the book. Next it has pages about Preparing For A Field Trip. These pages have great tips and things to do before you go and when you get there in checklist format. After these pages there are Field Trip Ideas. These ideas are so versatile and are in a easy to read chart. The Places I've Explored Maps are great to fill out what you've experienced around your state, around the United States, and in the World. The Field Trip Pages have you fill out things about a specific trip, like: where it was, date, a map of the place, a list of books to read about the place (that should have been read before the trip, but can be read later as well), a spot for a photo or drawing, emergency contact plan, and a list of things wanting to be seen or done on one page and then a page opposite that one where you can write a story of your day and something that you never want to forget after you have made the trip. There are 10 sets of these pages. There are also My Special Spot Pages that document a small (about 20' X 20') section of wildlife throughout all four seasons in the year. These pages have a place for a photograph of the spot during that season, a place to record: location, date, temperature, and rainfall; notes, and a grid to draw an aerial map. After these are As I See It Pages. These pages have 7 that have fun prompts and 10 pages that you can complete as you desire. These are made to capture things in sketch format instead of words.

Included in most Apologia Educational Ministries products, they have a link to a list of helpful third party websites to go along with your product. These you have to log in for to have access to with the password provided in the product. For the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal extras they had all sorts of links to explore online about field trips and journaling, including: The Importance of Field Trips, Field Trip Ideas and Searches, Maps, Field Guides and Identification, Resources, Natural History Museums, Science Museums, Children's Museums, Aquariums and Zoos, National Parks, State Parks, Botany, Animals, Earth Science, Aeronautics and Space, Human Body/Biology, Chemistry and Physics, History and Government, Community and Municipal, Business and Industry, Culture, Additional Field Trip Websites, and Art Journaling.

How We Are Using This Journal:

My whole family has been using the Apologia Educational Ministries Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal for different things that we have explored since we got it. Here are just a few of them...
  • When my son, Jaedan, and I went to Louisville Kentucky May 22nd through the 24th I brought the Apologia Educational Ministries Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal with us just in case we found the time between studying history and being with our group to fill out some pages in it. Our trip there included seeing two very cool museums. I let him fill out two sets of field trip pages for both museums because I wanted his thoughts in the book about our trip and I knew I would be writing a blog post about it later too. 
  • On Memorial Day, the day after our mother son trip to Louisville, my family met my parents and my sister, Melody, and her two kids at Claggett Creek Park in Keiser Oregon. Melody had came all the way from Nevada to visit. We had a lovely Memorial Day eating picnic food at a picnic table there and watching our kids play on the playground. I filled out the field trip pages for our picnic, but included what the rest of my family thought about the trip as well. 
  • We also went to Everfree Northwest in Seattle Washington, which is a My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Convention, as a family on May 30th. Even though this trip was mostly for fun we still had a blast. I filled out the field trip pages for Everfree, but included what the rest of my family thought about the trip as well.
We also love the As I See It pages where you get to draw what you see and the My Special Spot pages where you can record seasonal changes in nature out in the wild. We haven't gotten to fill out the My Special Spot pages completely because we haven't had this book for that long, but we plan on using this whole book to travel, study, explore, observe, record, document, and create memories that we can remember as a family from years to come.

I like that field trips are only limited by imagination. You can do virtual field trips or real ones. You can go just in your own backyard or across the world. It is up to you what you do with the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal. Let your imagination go and explore!

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You can purchase the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal on the Apologia Educational Ministries website for only $22.00! You can download sample pages on there as well.

Follow Them on Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld/timeline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
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Read other reviews for the Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal...
Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review


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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Devotions from the Garden: Finding Peace and Rest from Your Hurried Life Book Review


Devotions from the Garden: Finding Peace and Rest from Your Hurried Life by Miriam Drennen is a gorgeous hardcover book that is filled with beautiful color photographs of lovely gardens, words of wisdom, and scripture. I also love that it has a fuschia colored ribbon attached to the book that you can easily bookmark your place with. This 223 page treasure would be wonderful gift for anyone that loves gardening and biblical values.

I have been sitting down and reading a passage every morning and the devotions in this book are very uplifting and inspiring. Devotions in this book are garden themed and have different Christian stories, metaphors, and analogies pertaining to each, along with a biblical scripture. Each devotion is about two pages long with a title and scripture at the top along with the devotion and a devotional prayer at the end of each. There is a total of 90 devotions with such garden topics as: The Mantis, God's Greenhouse, Composting, etc. They offer deeper reflection and meditation upon God and what was taught in each devotion all throughout the day.

Taking the time to ponder everything around us and ourselves is sometimes hard in this chaotic fast-paced world we live in. Sometimes we need to slow down and focus our thoughts to nature and prayer. The Garden is the perfect place to escape. Find tranquility, bring yourself closer to Christ, and grow your faith in Him with the Devotions from the Garden book.

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The author, Miriam Drennen, also has a similar devotions book called Devotions from the Beach...and Days You Wish You Were There.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this book from the BookLook Blogger review program for free in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dynacraft Launches Experiments in Fun with Family Oriented Whimsical Events


Dynacraft is an industry-leading importer and distributor of bicycles, scooters and battery operated wheels for the entire family. They offer such fun designs as: My Little Pony, Tonka, Transformers, Marvel Avengers, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Hello Kitty, Minions, and Monster High to choose from. My girls who are 4 and 7 would absolutely love their My Little Pony line!

Experiments in Fun is Dynacraft's ongoing celebration of the endless creative ways kids and families can enjoy their bikes, scooters and ride-ons. All the fun is kicking off this summer with a series of community-focused events across the country, designed to help families rethink what’s possible with their favorite wheels.

If you live in St. Paul, MN consider yourself very lucky! Dynacraft is hosting an Experiments in Fun Color Ride (think color-powder fun run meets scavenger hunt on wheels) on June 13th. If you live in or around this area you can sign up now to participate!

They already did a Ride-In Theater in Atlanta, GA and the participants had a blast! Here is a fun little recap of that event:





COMING SOON, CLOSER TO HOME...
Also, if y'all are looking for some fun action that is closer to my home, just you wait. The next Experiments in Fun Dynacraft will be putting on is in, none other than, Portland, Oregon!!! It will be a Biker Juice Bar The Kickstand on July 30th June 27th at Pioneer Courthouse Square from 12pm-3pm. Participants will experience a pop-up juice bar for active families, with biker-themed fun and decor. Games, test rides, giveaways & refreshments provided by Dynacraft. Yay! I cannot wait for my family to be a part of it!

****Heads up, the Portland, Oregon Event has been moved up to June 27th!!!

Can you think of another unique activity for summer that you can have your kids do with their favorite wheels? 

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I am posting about these events because I wanted my readers to know about them. Thanks to a public relations email for providing me this promotion information. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any compensation for posting this promo and event information.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Restaurant.com - Plates of Thanks Sweepstakes


US Family Guide provided me with this promotional information and offer to share with my readers. I am getting something for free in return for posting this information.

Restaurant.com is celebrating 20K partner restaurants across the nation with the Plates of Thanks Sweepstakes! Twenty (20) winners will be selected randomly to receive a free party for up to six people at a participating Restaurant.com restaurant.


How to enter:
(1) During the Promotion Period, visit www.restaurant.com/sweepstakes
(2) Social media: To enter the Sweepstakes, go to the Restaurant.com Twitter page to follow them, or go to the Restaurant.com Instagram page to follow them. After you follow Restaurant.com, snap a photo dining out, tagging either Restaurant.com's Twitter or Instagram with a caption that indicates the photo is part of the Sweepstakes for an attempt to win a prize. All entrants must use #PlatesofThanks in their photo caption to be entered to win. Sweepstakes ends June 21.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about the Restaurant.com - Plates of Thanks Sweepstakes I am getting a $50 Restaurant.com Gift Card. Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden Book Review



Spring is almost over and summer is just around the corner. I cannot believe how the time has flown by so quickly!  My Mother's Day garden is growing very well. I still have a lot to do, but the main part is out of the way. Weeds still need pulled around my flowers, the soil needs tended to, and more seeds need sown and planted. I absolutely love growing in raised beds and containers because it means a lot less weeding. I love gardening! It is a favorite pastime of mine. Digging my hands into the soil and feeling the earth beneath me, relaxes me. It has always had this calming effect on me. 

The newly revised edition (which now includes a whole chapter dedicated to heirloom vegetables and herbs) of the Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden book by Karen Newcomb is a great resource with a lot of ideas to grow tons of organic vegetables in small spaces and in containers. This book is a very practical do-it-yourself (DIY) guide. In the beginning there is an introduction which introduces the history of small gardens. Eight chapters covering different topics, from planning your garden to controlling pests and other maladies, follow to host the bulk of knowledge being put forth. An appendix a and b containing how to compost and seed sources, a glossary, about the author, and an index ends the book.

Table Of Contents

Introduction   1
Chapter 1 Planning Your Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden   5
Chapter 2 The Postage Stamp Soil Mix   35
Chapter 3 Getting Your Ground Ready   43
Chapter 4 When and How to Plant   50
Chapter 5 Watering Your Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden   64
Chapter 6 Heirloom Vegetables and Herbs You’ll Love to Grow   68
Chapter 7 Plants That Like Each Other   165
Chapter 8 Controlling Pests, Diseases, and Critters   172
Appendix A How to Compost   186
Appendix B Seed Sources   195
Glossary   204
About the Author   211
Index   212

In retrospect, I really should have read The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden book before I planted my garden. Since it got a late start though, I was rushing to get everything in the ground. I went with a more conventional row design which isn't really the best way to plant. This book could have helped me tremendously in: planning the arrangement of my garden and maximizing my crop production.

I love that this book makes it easy to have a garden in a very small plot that produces a lot while taking very little work and water. Karen Newcomb recommends beds that are 4 by 4 feet minimum to 10 by 10 feet maximum. She also states that from a 5 by 5 foot bed you can produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables, if it is properly prepared and maintained. This is really amazing if you think about it. There are also some very helpful crop stretching techniques that are talked about in the book like: French Intensive Biodynamic Gardening in a small space, vertical gardening, intercropping, succession planting, catch cropping, container gardening, raised bed gardening, window sill/box gardening, patio gardening, companion planting, etc. The book also talks about taking advantage of better planting times: planting by season, zones, and moon cycles. Watering techniques, soil enriching techniques, and how to organically get rid of or deter: pests, diseases, and critters that might devour your garden are also included in this book. I loved the part of this book that covered other plants to consider growing because I am well aware of the advantages of adding pretty edible flowers and plants that attract beneficial bugs and hummingbirds to pollinate and possibly eat some pests. I love the idea of having a garden also for the hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc.

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden book has great garden plans, charts, and tips to keep your garden growing gorgeously. I will just mention that if you like a lot of color photos or pretty pictures this will not be the book for you because it uses a simplistic three color (browns, grays, and greens) printing process for the drawings and charts throughout the book.

There is so much to consider when planning a garden. I wish more people out there would grow their own food because the benefits are just so great! The benefits of growing your own organic garden include: better health, less stress, feeling better, saving money, getting fresh air and exercise, eating healthier and safer and saving the environment. Even someone living in the city with very little space really doesn't have an excuse. This book is chocked full of helpful information to maximize yield organically and ecologically friendly in small spaces. I would recommend anyone who wants to have a wonderful organic garden to read this book, especially those who don't know where to start because they are just in the beginning stages.

BUY IT


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program for free in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!